Spacetime and Structure: Structural Realism, Neo-Kantianism Idealism, or Relativized A Priorism?

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Slowik, Edward
conference paper description
The essay examines the relationship, within spacetime theories, between contemporary structural realism, Cassirer’s neo-Kantian structuralism, and Friedman’s defense of the relativized a priori. Despite Friedman’s claim that the relativized a priori can explain the progress of science, by using invariant theoretical elements/structures, our investigation will demonstrate that his theory cannot make this guarantee, nor may Cassirer’s earlier theory. However, as will be argued, the main content of both Cassirer’s and Friedman’s theories can be retained within an epistemic version of structural realism, thereby securing an account of scientific progress.